Acadian Capital Ventures Announces Funding for Cultural NFT Marketplace

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LAFAYETTE — Acadian Capital Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm, is investing in Iconic Moments, an NFT marketplace exclusively for museums and cultural institutions around the world.

Acadian Capital Ventures joined VentureSouth, Cultivation Capital, Techstars, and Red Stick Angels as investors in the Iconic Moments seed funding round. Iconic Moments is the second investment in Acadian Capital Ventures’ growing portfolio. Based in Lafayette, La., Acadian Capital Ventures seeks out startup companies in communities often overlooked by venture capital and provides access to seed funding and mentorship.

Iconic Moments partners with a growing network of history, sports, and art museums and archives to create NFTs (non-fungible tokens) of art, video clips, audio clips, and other artifacts sourced from the museums’ collections. The partner museum retains ownership of the original piece while the limited-edition NFTs are generated from the original piece.

Iconic Moments was created by the team behind Pass It Down, a digital storytelling company based out of Baton Rouge. Pass It Down currently works with museums and cultural centers around the world — including Porsche, Procter & Gamble, and the Museum of Broadcast Communications — to create interactive experiences through its cloud-based digital design platform.

Acadian Capital Ventures’ investment in Iconic Moments will support the company’s growth as it creates the cultural heritage industry’s first NFT marketplace. That growth includes hiring additional staff and enhancing the Iconic Moments blockchain marketplace ahead of its launch in late 2021.

“Thanks to Acadian Capital Ventures for believing in our vision to create a new and sustainable model for the cultural heritage industry,” said Pass It Down and Iconic Moments CEO Chris Cummings. “NFTs are going to change every industry in the world and we have the opportunity to revolutionize the way that cultural institutions engage digitally, drive revenue, and preserve history through the permanence of the blockchain.”

In 2020, NFT transactions worldwide totaled $200 million. In the first quarter of 2021, there were more than $2.1 billion in NFT transactions.

“Smart contracts, as well as blockchain ledgers, have dramatically changed the way that we buy, sell, and own digital assets — and will continue to evolve well into the future,” said Acadian Capital Ventures Managing Director Skip Boudreaux. “Chris and the entire Pass It Down/Iconic Moments team are dedicated to bringing this technology, along with industry know-how, directly to these historical and cultural institutions so that they do not get left behind.”

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